1929 William Faulkner Inscribed "Sartoris" First Edition

Value (2009) | $6,000 Auction$8,000 Auction

I brought a book that's been in our family for at least a couple of generations. It's a book by William Faulkner and it was inscribed by William Faulkner to my dad.

To your father?


Okay, let me turn to the inscription. And it is inscribed to his cousin by William Faulkner.

Yes, my father was his cousin, and they were also good friends because my father was a real Faulknerian scholar. He loved what Faulkner wrote. They both, obviously, were from the South. My dad was born in Mississippi as well. This book was signed to my father, I think, when he was 18 years old. Faulkner was older than that. And this is just one of the books from the collection that my father left to me when he passed away.

I was very intrigued by the inscription. To see a book inscribed by Faulkner to a family member is a wonderful thing. And then also to learn that they were close friends, that your father was, on top of it, also a Faulkner reader and a scholar. This book was published in 1929 and the inscription is from the same year. It's from June 1929, so I would assume that it was inscribed shortly after the publication.

I'm assuming it's a first edition and yes...

It's absolutely... it is a first edition. And when it comes to collecting first editions, people look for three things in particular. They look at the condition of the book; they look whether or not the book has a dust jacket; and if... whether or not the book is signed or inscribed. With William Faulkner, it is not unusual to find a signed copy of his. Or he would sign a sheet of paper that was tipped in the book later on. In this case, it is a very rare inscription, so even though you don't have the dust jacket and the book was definitely read at some point and it's not in what collectors would consider really fine condition, this is an absolute treat to look at. A very conservative auction estimate would be $6,000 to $8,000 in this market.

That's good.

There have been other copies with the dust jackets that have been on the market recently that sold for even more than that, one up to $30,000.

Right. APPRAIER: But that was in pristine condition and in a dust jacket. And it was inscribed to a childhood friend.

Thank you very much, I appreciate it.

Oh, my pleasure.

Appraisal Details

New York, NY
Bonhams, NY
Appraised value (2009)
$6,000 Auction$8,000 Auction
Denver, CO (July 25, 2009)

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